All He Feels - Dax & Ginny(7)

By: Melanie Shawn

She knew he was waiting for her to say something and she had a lot to say, but in that moment her brain felt like it had short-circuited. It was as if his hotness and mere presence had blown a fuse.

Needing a moment to gather her thoughts, she stood and asked, “Is it okay if I use the restroom. It was a long drive.”

“Sure, do you remember where—”

“Yep.” She nodded as she started walking towards him.

The closer she got to him the larger he seemed. Dax was well over six feet and built like a machine. He had to turn so that she could get past him and it struck her that his size should be intimidating. Instead his large, imposing stature drew her like a moth to a flame.

Her memory had not done his massive frame justice. It was odd, she’d begun to worry on the drive from Nashville that she’d built Dax up in her mind to such mythical proportions that there was no way he could possibly live up to them. Now she knew she’d had nothing to worry about. He not only lived up to her memory—he exceeded it.

A shiver raced down her spine as she made the short walk down the hall towards the bathroom. It had been a few months since he’d given her a tour of the place, but she remembered it like it was yesterday. He’d walked her through the reno he’d already completed on the bottom floor and what he still had to do upstairs. He’d explained that flipping houses was something that he did as a hobby but his work was more than just good, it was master-craftsman level.

He was a man. A real man. A renaissance man.

She entered his bedroom on the way to the bathroom and was once again taken by how much it fit him. Not just because his furniture and bed were so massive to accommodate his size, but also because the bed frame and dresser had clean lines that contrasted the weatherworn wood perfectly.

The bathroom door was open and as she stepped inside she was struck with the clean, masculine smell and the damp, humid quality of the air. There were still beads of water on the shower tile and the towel that had been around Dax’s waist was on the floor. Her eyes scanned the shower wishing she could will the image of Dax in his birthday suit to suddenly appear. Unfortunately, she couldn’t.

Shutting the door behind her she rested her hands on the sink. Looking at her reflection she noticed that the mirror was still fogged at the corners. She also saw that her cheeks were ruddy. She wasn’t sure if it was from the cold outside or the heat inside, but they were definitely red.

Ginny removed her scarf and jacket to reveal a plain red long sleeve shirt and jeans. Her blonde hair was pulled up off her face and she wore a nude lip gloss and a single coat of mascara, both of which she’d applied in a gas station bathroom about twenty minutes ago. She’d wanted to look presentable when she saw Dax again but she didn’t want to look like she was trying too hard. Now that she’d seen him in all of his post-shower glory she’d kind of wished she’d tried a little harder.

When she was on stage or at an event or photo shoot she enjoyed getting dolled up and playing dress up in designer clothes and jewelry. But in real life, she preferred jeans and a T-shirt, no make-up and no heels. In her personal life, she’d never had anyone that she’d cared about impressing so she’d never given much thought to her appearance beyond comfort.

Maybe she should add that to her resolutions. She had four weeks to spread her wings without someone looking over her shoulder. As of yesterday it was a brand new year and she had one month where her only responsibility was completing her next album and figuring out who exactly she was and what she wanted with no mom, or label, or manager influencing her.

Could she do it if Dax didn’t remember or hadn’t been serious about letting her stay here? Sure. But, did she want to? No.

There had been a lot of changes in the past week. Her mother, who she still lived with and had never gone even one day of her life without seeing, had gotten married and left for a month-long European honeymoon—which was a surprise wedding gift from Ginny. The day after Christmas, she’d fired her manager and walked out on contract negotiations for her next album with the record label that she’d been signed to since she was fourteen because they had her in a box, a box that made them a lot of money but that was suffocating Ginny. Last night she’d packed a bag and driven straight here.

Knowing she couldn’t hide out forever she took a deep, fortifying breath and shook out her arms as she exhaled. This was it. It was go time. As she left the bathroom and made her way back down the hall, the same feeling that she’d had the first time she’d performed at the Grand Ole Opry filled her. It was an equal mixture of excitement and nerves that created exhilarating anticipation.